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'It is our belief this is the best way to begin': Akron Public Schools to begin school year with remote learning

The Board plans to reevaluate its current plan at the end of the first semester.

AKRON, Ohio — After hours of deliberation, the Akron Public Schools Board of Education has decided that the 2020-2021 academic school year will begin with remote learning. 

Board members voted on the decision during a meeting Monday evening. The board considered several options for the city's 45 schools including a return to the classroom and scenarios of blended learning before making their decision. 

“We have studied and researched.  We have followed guidance from all of the experts locally, regionally, statewide and nationally.  We have also met with and discussed plans with other Ohio schools large and small," said Superintendent David W. James, Ed.D. in a press release. "It is our belief this is the best way to begin; the safest way for the greatest number of students and staff.”

According to APS, more 20,000 students along with teachers and staff members would be endangered if the schools were to return in the fall. 

“The risk of having that many students and teachers trying to keep everyone safe, at this particular stage of COVID-19 is just too great," said Board President, Patrick Bravo.

The Board plans to reevaluate its current plan at the end of the first semester. 

In addition to the decision, the Board released a list of six key objectives for the remote learning programs during the first semester. 

  1. Teachers will develop robust programming to provide support and close the gaps that occurred during the spring online learning and the summer slide
  2. Staff training and professional development will continue to support teaching and learning throughout the 2020-2021 school year
  3. Teachers will assess student learning needs to design and plan personalized learning pathways
  4. Planning for interventions to be based on identified student gaps in knowledge
  5. Continue using the Ohio Learning Standards as the basis for teaching and learning
  6. Continuation of the PK-12 College & Career Academies of Akron transformation

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